Sonidos Serranos

Sonidos Serranos: Sounds of the Sierras...
Reflecting some of my family's interests: God's wonderful creation (especially mountains and hills!), music, and language...

Psalm 121:1-2 (NASB)

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

21 February 2010

February 21: Update on Jonatán

Jona went back to the hospital on Monday, February 8, for the four-hour chemo that takes several days to flush out of his system. We're thankful that he was able to go to school on Friday of that week.

He is currently in the hospital for a three-day chemo, having gone in this past Friday evening. As plans now stand, the doctors are planning to scan his lungs and check his liver tomorrow, February 22. (Two spots were removed from his lungs last autumn, and chemotherapy can be very taxing on the liver.)

Thank-you for praying! Please continue to pray!

20 February 2010

Uruguay Update

We're thankful for a wonderful week at Family Camp, and we're thankful for your prayers.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we'll be at Iglesia Biblica Maranatha here in Pando for Sunday School. Tomorrow afternoon we'll be going to Montevideo, where we'll participate in an evening service at the EMU church in the Cerro neighborhood. We'll be spending the night with the pastor's family before returning to the coast for four days of camp with the EMU pastors and missionaries.

Please continue to pray for the Lord's blessing as John Mark preaches.

10 February 2010

In Uruguay!

We’ve been in Uruguay for most of six days now. A week ago we were on a plane, on the way. It’s summer here – and quite a change from weather we were experiencing in the southeastern USA shortly before we left. But we’re enjoying it!

We’re thankful for abundant opportunities here. John Mark is quite busy, finishing sermon preparation for Family Camp (Monday through Friday of next week) and Workers’ Conference for EMU missionaries (Monday through Thursday of the week after). He will be preaching a total of twenty-two messages at camp – and would definitely appreciate prayer as he finishes preparing and then as he preaches.

On Saturday afternoon and then again on Sunday morning, John Mark challenged the youth group at Iglesia Bíblica Maranatha in Pando from I John, concentrating on chapter 2, verses 15 through 17, as well as the specific evidences of eternal life throughout that epistle. On Sunday evening, he preached from II Chronicles 14 through 16, using King Asa’s example (both positive and negative), emphasizing our need to seek the Lord – and what that means biblically.

Unbeknownst to us, the theme at the recent youth camps was the same idea of loving the Lord, not the world – and we’re encouraged to see the Lord’s evident hand of blessing on John Mark’s choice of messages for the youth group, Sunday School, and church services here in Pando. Please pray for the Lord’s continued work in hearts here where my Dad and Pat are laboring intensely, trusting the Lord of the harvest for fruit that will remain.

We’ve also made several visits to government offices, hoping to renew my residency here. The process won’t be as simple as we had been hoping, but we’ve been able to gather information – and are thankful for what we’ve been able to learn and accomplish so far.

We are, of course, enjoying the time with family. Elizabeth is very excited to be here with los Abu and Tío Daniel and Tía Viviana and especially las primas – and her eagerness to speak Spanish is delighting us! We had told her that she would have to speak castellano in Uruguay. While still at the airport, she asked me: “Aren’t we in Uruguay?” I affirmed that we were. “Then why aren’t we speaking Spanish?!” She proceeded to try to use what Spanish she could – a welcome surprise after her obvious reticence to use the language just weeks before!

That very evening, while eating supper at Tío Daniel’s house, she asked for mos quesa, meaning más queso (more cheese), of course! Last night, I commented that I loved to give her muchos besos (lots of kisses). Probably because it’s been rather hot and humid here, she retorted: “No, poquito. Poquito besos.” (She should have said: poquitoS besos, as any good student of Spanish would know, but we’re just thrilled at her eagerness to speak the language. The foundation her Mommy worked very hard to lay, by speaking Spanish almost exclusively when Elizabeth was a baby up until she started attending K-2, is definitely paying off!

Do pray for us! Pray that our time here would be profitable in light of eternity. We sense keenly our need for God’s grace if anything is to be accomplished for His glory, and we are trusting in His promises. His Word will not return void!

09 February 2010

February 9: Update on Jonatán

Quick update – from Uruguay!

Jona is in the hospital, having undergone another four-hour chemo. This is the kind that has to be flushed out of his system – the kind that usually takes the rest of the week to reach the desired safe level.

We are praising the Lord that Jona's blood count levels rebounded to acceptable levels, making possible his continuing with the prescribed schedule of treatments.

Please continue to pray for Jona – and the rest of the family!

03 February 2010

Elizabeth & español

There haven’t been any posts on Elizabeth’s language developments for quite a while. The short version of the story is: She’s fluent in English, but she hasn’t wanted to speak Spanish...

What?! I know... But it’s true.

My theory is that her sensitive spirit (and keen mind) have contributed to her remembering feeling different from all the other children in K-2; consequently, she chose to shut out Spanish. And we chose to not push Spanish while she was obviously alternately excited about forming complete sentences in English and (very!) frustrated when those didn’t come easily. Her intense personality also contributed to the overall picture, of course.

But she has made it quite obvious that her resistance is not to the idea of another language. How? By showing a keen interest in French! (Yes, she’s a real joy to her mother’s heart!) Somewhere along the line she realized the concept of multiple languages and, upon discovering that I know French, she began asking: “How do you say _____ in French?” gleefully repeating the words with great gusto – and accuracy, too! (We listen to CDs in French now and then to encourage correct pronunciation; I still pronounce French words with a Spanish accent...)

Elizabeth continues to understand Spanish; the foundation is obviously there. When I speak Spanish, she says: “Let’s talk in English!” I continue in Spanish; she answers logically in English. We go back and forth until finally – she inserts a word or phrase in Spanish!

Thankfully, she has taken a renewed interest in Spanish in the last month or so. In the last few days she’s been asking: “How do you say _____ in Spanish?” We’ve definitely been encouraging Spanish in light of our upcoming trip. Dr. Lopez has also been helping by rewarding the occasional phrase with a caramelo! (¡Mil gracias, hermano!)

Funny story:
We watched Mary Poppins in Spanish while on vacation. (I love multiple sound tracks on DVDs; Elizabeth still doesn’t know that the DVD is even in English!) She latched onto the chimney sweeps’ song, singing part of it and inquiring about the rest.

I sang: “Chim-chiminea, chim-chiminea, chim-chim-che-ri.”

To which she replied: “No, Mommy! It’s chim-chim-che-RO!”

“You’re right! I got confused…” (Hee! Hee!)

01 February 2010

Happy Birthday, Little One!

To start the day, her Daddy fixed her a little cup of cafe con leche!

She's old enough now!

The birthday e-card from her tíos and primas down south was a real highlight!

And she got to talk with all her grandparents, too!

Jona was quarantined for the weekend and we were surrounded by ice and snow, so we decided to postpone the party – but we incorporated the snow theme into the gift wrap!

Books are always a highlight!

Funny story:
Upon seeing the box her first gift came in, she said:

Not more shoes!

(Can you guess what she got for Christmas?!) There are always teachable moments...

(The outfit was a great deal through Cashbaq!)

The real theme was MONKEYS – a perennial favorite!

Mono Grande helped to blow out the candles!
(And Picasa allows you to take snapshots while you're watching your video!)

It was a very exciting (and ultimately exhausting) day!

We are so thankful for our precious little girl.

We added yet another monkey detail after cake and ice-cream this evening.
It was a random clearance deal... And SO much fun!

A Very Celebrated 4th Birthday!

The festivities started with Tío Matías and Tía Tini celebrating during the first week of January.

The candles proved to be a bit of a challenge...

"Piggy" and the accompanying book were highlights – as was the picture perfect dress from Abu Teresa!

This past Friday she had a little celebration with her friends at school.

She won the cookie from the Publix Cookie Club!

February 1: Update on Jonatán

Praise the Lord with us!

Jona was able to attend school today. (Yep! He loves school!)

Apparently, his immune levels were up to a satisfactory level, allowing him to be out among people (and germs!) again.

He did receive some platelets today.

We are thankful that he is recovering...

Please continue to pray!

Sleet, Ice, and Snow!

But mostly sleet and ice in our area...

We stayed snug and warm inside most of Saturday, admiring the frozen world – through the window panes!

It all started with sleet on Friday evening, turning into a mix of sleet and freezing rain, and then into a coating of ice by Saturday...

I did venture out for a few pictures late Saturday and then again on Sunday afternoon.

Freezing rain and snow are beautiful aspects of God's creation that remind me of His promises:

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower
and bread for the eater,
so is my Word
that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose
for which I sent it.